If you are looking to elevate your cooking skills and impress your guests with a perfectly cooked steak, mastering the art of cooking steak on the stove is a must. Not only is it a delicious meal that is sure to satisfy any craving, but it is also a practical and efficient way to cook steak. In this article, we will explore the best techniques and tips for cooking the perfect steak on the stove.
What Cut of Steak is Best for Stove Cooking?
Steak is one of the most loved and popular foods worldwide. Although it is easy to cook, certain cuts work better than others when cooked on the stovetop. Here are some of the best cuts of steak for stove cooking:
Ribeye steak is a flavorful and juicy cut of beef that comes from the rib section of the cow. It has a high level of marbling, which ensures that it stays moist and tender even after cooking. Ribeye steak is an excellent choice for stove cooking because it is easy to sear and develop a nice crust while still maintaining its juicy and tender texture.
Sirloin steak is a lean and tender cut that comes from the back of the cow, near the sirloin primal. It is a versatile cut that is perfect for stove cooking because it can be seared quickly to create a caramelized crust on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.
Filet mignon is a prized and tender cut that comes from the tenderloin. It is one of the most expensive cuts of steak and requires careful cooking to ensure that it stays moist and tender. Stove cooking is a great way to cook filet mignon because it allows you to control the cooking process and create a nice sear on the outside while keeping the inside tender and juicy.
What Temperature Should the Steak Be?
When cooking steak on the stove, it’s essential to know the right temperature to achieve the perfect taste and texture. The suitable temperature varies depending on the cut of steak and personal preference, but generally, medium-rare is achieved at 135-140Â°F. This temperature ensures that the steak is juicy, flavorful, and tender. It’s optimal not to overcook the steak to avoid making it tough and chewy. Overcooking the steak can even lead to the formation of carcinogens and other harmful substances.
How to Check Steak Temperature Without a Thermometer?
It is common among amateur chefs not to have a meat thermometer at hand. Checking your steak’s temperature doesn’t have to be complicated. You have some tips to use to check your steak’s temperature without a thermometer:
- Finger Test: By touching the steak and identifying how it feels, you can estimate its temperature. An excellent technique is to press the center of the steak. If it feels like the fleshy area between your thumb and pointer finger, it’s rare. If the steak feels like the fleshy area between your pointer finger and your middle finger, it’s medium-rare. If it feels like the fleshy area between your middle finger and your fourth finger, it’s medium. Lastly, if it feels like the fleshy area between your fourth finger and pinky, then it’s well done.
- Color Test: Another easy way to check the doneness of your steak is by looking at the color. The center of the steak usually cooks last, so if it’s bright red, it’s rare. If it’s light pink to pink, it’s medium-rare. Pale pink indicates medium, and brown or gray means it’s well done.
How Do You Season Your Steak?
Seasoning a steak is a critical step in preparing a delicious meal. The right seasoning blend can enhance the natural flavors of the beef while seasoning too much can overpower the taste of your meat. Here are some tips to help you master the art of seasoning your steak:
1. Start with the Basics
The basic foundation of any good steak seasoning mix is salt and pepper. This combination enhances the natural flavor of the beef and creates a crust on its surface when cooked. Rub the salt and pepper mixture on both sides of the steak and let it sit at room temperature for about thirty minutes before you begin cooking.
2. Experiment with Different Spices
If you want to add more flavors to your steaks, you can try experimenting with other spices, herbs, and seasonings. Good options include paprika, garlic, onion powder, cumin, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Try different combinations to find the blend that you prefer. Just remember that less is often more when it comes to seasoning.
3. Consider a Marinade
Marinating can be an excellent way to introduce more flavors to your steaks. You can use acidic liquids like vinegar or citrus juices to help tenderize the meat while adding additional flavors. Make sure you do this in advance so that the marinade has time to penetrate the meat. A good rule of thumb is to marinate your steak for at least two hours but no more than overnight. Too much acidity can break down the meat and make it tough.
- Experiment with different marinades like Italian dressing, teriyaki sauce, or balsamic vinegar.
- Remember to pat the steak dry before seasoning and cooking. Too much moisture can prevent the formation of a crust on the meat.
What is the Best Cooking Oil to Use?
When cooking steak on the stove, it’s important to choose the right oil. Here are some options to consider:
Heat-resistant oils like canola, vegetable, or peanut oil are popular choices for cooking steak on the stove. They have high smoke points and can handle high heat without burning, which is essential for achieving a good sear.
Butter and Ghee
While butter and ghee have lower smoke points compared to heat-resistant oils, they can add an extra level of richness and flavor to your steak. Clarified butter or ghee can be a good option as they have a higher smoke point, but they are still not as heat-resistant as oils like canola or peanut oil.
When choosing an oil, consider the smoke point and flavor profile. A good rule of thumb is to use a heat-resistant oil for cooking and adding butter or ghee at the end for flavor.
What Tools Do You Need for Stove Cooking?
Aspiring cooks often find it challenging to create that perfect, restaurant-quality steak on the stovetop. However, with patience, practice, and the right tools, anyone can learn how to cook a delicious steak on the stove.
A Cast-Iron Skillet
The first and most important tool you need for stove cooking is a cast-iron skillet. Cast iron can quickly heat up and retain heat longer than other materials, making it an excellent choice for cooking steak. It also creates a crust that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Knowing when a steak is cooked to perfection can be challenging, especially for beginners. A meat thermometer is an invaluable tool for ensuring that your steak is cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, and you’re good to go.
Using tongs during cooking is a safer way to handle food than using a fork or spatula. Tongs allow you to turn the steak and move it around the pan with ease, without losing its juices or getting burned.
A timer helps you keep track of the cooking time and ensures that your steak is not overcooked or undercooked. It helps to prevent common mistakes, such as leaving the steak on the pan for too long, resulting in a dry and tough piece of meat.
A spatula is helpful in flipping the steak, especially if you plan on cooking it to medium or well-done. It’s always best to flip the steak just once to retain its juices, and a good spatula will help you do just that.
Do You Need to Rest Your Steak?
Resting your steak after cooking is an important step to ensure juices stay locked in and prevent dryness- about 5-7 minutes is a good rule of thumb, and tenting your steak under foil can help retain heat.
Why Resting Your Steak is Important
When you cook steak, the high heat causes its muscle fibers to contract and push its juices toward the center. If you cut into it right after cooking, the juices will escape onto your plate, resulting in dry and tough steak. Resting your steak after cooking allows the fibers to relax and the juices to redistribute evenly throughout the steak, resulting in a juicier and more tender steak.
How to Rest Your Steak
After cooking your steak, move it to a cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. This tenting technique helps to retain the heat and allows the steak to rest without getting overcooked. Let the steak rest for 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your steak. This rest time also gives you an opportunity to finish up any side dishes or prep your plates for serving.
What Not to Do When Resting Your Steak
- Don’t slice your steak immediately after taking it off the heat. Slicing will cause the juices to bleed out all over your cutting board and rob your meat of flavor.
- Don’t cover your steak too tightly with foil or cover it too early in the cooking process. This will trap too much heat and cause the steak to continue cooking, leading to an overcooked and dry piece of meat.
- Don’t rest your steak for too long. While 5-7 minutes is generally a good resting time, larger or more cooked cuts of meat may require longer. However, any longer than 15 minutes and your steak will get cold and lose its deliciousness.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope you found our guide helpful in mastering the art of cooking steak on the stove! With these tips, you can now impress your guests or indulge in a delicious restaurant-quality steak at home. Remember to choose the right cut of steak, let it come to room temperature, use a cast-iron skillet, and let it rest before cutting. Enjoy your perfectly cooked steak!